EU Summit “Dealbreaker” Emerges Hours Before Decision On Merkel’s Fate

 

Suday July 1, 17:00 UK time

This week European leaders were meeting in a desperate bid to agree a common solution to the immigration crisis that is tearing apart the European Union both politically and socially. With Italy having promised to veto any deal to distribute illegal immigrants (bogus refuges and asylum seekers,) throughout member states the leaders were left wiyh few options to consider one of which was a form of detention center called “Disembarkation Platforms,” to be located in northern Africa, where newly arrived migrants could be taken initially for processing of asylum requests.

The intention was that a detailed plan would be agreed during the the major EU Summit meeting held in Brussels over the weekend. The leaders met all day Thursday and then long into the night, finally announcing an agreement at 4:30 am. However, the agreement had no more details than the original proposal, a typical EU get out of agreeing that something needs to be done without saying what can or will be done.

The agreement, an extract of which is reproduced below, confines itself to vague generalisations but says  nothing about how the Disembarkation Platforms would work:

5. In order to definitively break the business model of the smugglers, thus preventing tragic loss of life, it is necessary to eliminate the incentive to embark on perilous journeys. This requires a new approach based on shared or complementary actions among the Member States to the disembarkation of those who are saved in Search And Rescue operations. In that context, the European Council calls on the Council and the Commission to swiftly explore the concept of regional disembarkation platforms, in close cooperation with relevant third countries as well as UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should operate distinguishing individual situations, in full respect of international law and without creating a pull factor.

That paragraph contains just over 100 words, and it manages to do so while saying absolutely nothing.

No country has volunteered to host a Disembarkation Platform. Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia have explicitly refused, and a spokesman for one of the three governments in Libya also refused and said that he thought the other two governments would refuse as well. One concern that all of these countries have is that a Disembarkation Platform would encourage jihadist attacks.

But an even bigger political earthquake is about to hit the EU. As we reported the political future of German Chancellor Angela Merkel depended on her securing a deal which would appease members of her fragile governing coalition that have threatened to withdraw support over her failure to deal with the immigration crisis, which has hit Germany particularly hard.

Merkel is fighting for her political future today, Sunday, as conservative rebels in her ruling coalition threaten to withdraw support over immigration as a last minute veto by Visegrad group state throw the deal into doubt. If she cannot convince her main political ally, CSU leader Horst Seehofer, that the deal, which relies on the cooperation of north African states that have already dismissed the idea, will limit immigration into Germany, she faces a political crisis that could end her parliamentary majority and, potentially, her career.


Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer not seeing eye to eye (Picture: http://www.DW.com )

With an ultimatum thrown down two weeks ago by the CSU to propose a policy on pushing back immigrants into Germany to their nations of origin, or accept the CSU proposal of restoring border controls set to expire tonight, Merkel’s centre-right CDU party and its conservative Bavarian CSU allies are holding separate meetings to weigh the results the EU summit. Seehofer has made his position on the influx of Muslims to his country quite plain.

Merkel had hoped that in the absence of a common solution to the problem, bilateral deals with European migrant discontents – mostly Italy which threatened to veto last week’s summit until the last minute – and German neighbors would be enough to deter Interior Minister and CSU leader Seehofer from overruling her policy decisions by using his authority to order border security to start turning away migrants already registered in other EU nations. Such a unilateral move would force her to fire him, prompting a CSU walkout that would cost her her majority in parliament.

According to a document sent to coalition partners, Merkel sought to assure anti – immigration hardliners in Germany by claiming deals were done with 16 other countries to return already-registered migrants if they reached Germany. The document suggested bilateral deals were “only possible because the chancellor enjoys respect and authority throughout Europe,” Germany’s EU Commissioner and CDU politician Guenther Oettinger said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung weekly.

But the claimed EU deal looked close to collapse emerged when Italy  and several central European nations including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia denied they had agreed to accept returned migrants.

Not only did the news embarrass the German government as it showed Chancellor Merkel does not enjoy widespread respect throughout Europe, where in reality she is held personally responsible for creating the crisis, but false claims about deals not done also caused new conflict with its statement that 14 EU countries had made a “political commitment” to take back refugees who originally arrived on their soil but moved on to Germany. As a result, Germany’s ARD reported that the government leaders in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland denied having made any commitment at the summit.

This has prompted fears that a tentative deal could fall apart in the last minute: “Given the different statements from some EU member countries, one can doubt whether all of the decisions at the EU Council will become reality,” head of the CSU parliamentary group Alexander Dobrindt told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

 

Germany’s DPA news agency reported today that, Seehofer was underwhelmed with Merkel’s achievements and said he was not happy with the results of EU summit which he said is not as effective as turning away unilaterally at Germany’s borders people who have registered already in another EU country. Seehofer also rejected so-called “anchor centres” within Germany.

It looks like the end for Angie Baby as even her own party are fed up of her showing more committment to immigrants than the concerns of German people

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